What Does Elegance Mean? I Asked You. Here’s What You Responded

Ed Ruiz

8 August 2018

Seriously, trying to come up for a definition for elegance is just hell.

I checked the dictionary: I didn’t feel satisfied with what I found.

I investigated what style gurus have conjured up as definitions for elegance: they just didn’t actually manage to capture the essence of the word (in my humble opinion, of course, cause who I am to question them? (or anyone else’s own definition, for that matter)).

What does Elegance Mean?

So being the stubborn man that I am after my failed attempt at defining sprezzatura, I sat down and decided to come up with a definitive blog post that could go into detail about what the word “elegance” actually means. In particular, as a huge component of formal menswear or classic menswear or just professional style, however you wish to call it.

And guess what? I also didn’t like what I wrote. In fact, it was probably worse than the dictionary definition and some would say also worse than the interpretations from those well-known style gurus.

That’s just when it hit me!

Everyone will have his or her own definition of elegance. And everyone’s definition could be just as flawed as the next one.

So I said to myself: what the hell? I’ll just ask my community of dapper people and find out what elegance means to them, or how they interpret the word.

I went to the great Instagram crowd and I also asked the wonderful Facebook community.

Here’s how you all described “elegance”.

The Question: What Does Elegance Mean To You?

Without further ado, here are all your definitions for the word “elegance”.

What does elegance mean?

Refined Grace and Beauty
-David Ambrico

Manners, Humility, Presence
-Timothy Hartley Smith

Being a gentleman, integry and credibility
-Andrew Nicholson

Air of sophistication
-Derrick LaKine

Style, class and good manners
-Csabi Lukacs

Three piece suits
-Jamie Moffat

Style, Etiquette, Confidence
-Don Wheaton

Style, Confidence, Chivalry
-Ken Turner

No Words Necessary
-Dennis Berry

Tasteful & Timeless
-Sam Tidd

Dignity, Manners, Taste
-Michael Spengler

Appropriately attired with an effortless presence
-Ricardo Tapia

Classic sophisticated
-Kent Haaland @kenthaaland

Less is more
-Geoffrey Martin @geoff_martin17

Personality, coherent style
-Nils @nj_gro90

Something of beauty
-Leslie @leslieslife

Pride in appearance

Is a personal signature
-Andres Limones @andres.limones

#you (Ed’s comment: why thank you!)
-James Bacchi @jamesbacchi

Air of grace
-David Margetson

Making it happen
-Randall @rojas_50

Restraint. Knowing how much is too much
-Thomas Bullington @literarybotany

Sophistication with nonchalance
-Espen H. Kristensen @bgosl

It’s so hard to describe. I can tell what/who is elegant and what/who is not. And I have a standard. I know it but I just can’t say it haha
-Xin-Hang Hu @aiden1230fox

Keep it classy
-Gilbert Molinet @photos_by_g_molinet

Opeth Slayer Voyager (Ed’s comment: ha!)

-Abdessamad Saad @abdessamadsaad

Graceful Sophisticated Refined
-Martina Filipovic @martynafilipovic

Simple, refinement and stylish

Classic, perfect and elegant
-Senad Kazic @senadkazic28

Authentic, breathtaking personality

Passionate about class, grace, grooming and suit. In one word like I said Malegant
-Brian Hargrove @bsartoriglam

Powerful without hurting
-Sonia Frederico @sonyafrederico

Grace expressed fashionably
-Adam McCoy @thedapperedition

Elegance is a way to respect people around you
-Marcos Antônio Cardoso Souza @marcoscardosoadv

And my personal favorite…

Ed Ruiz
-Kevin Webster

*Note: Instagram usernames were included for those who responded to the question on Instagram. Facebook responses only show the name of the person responding.

My Conclusions

First conclusion: you guys are just as lost as I am! Just kidding, some of you came up with great definitions for elegance.

Second conclusion: elegance can have a million definitions. One for each person you could ask.

Third conclusion: just as with our styles, many of us, are in the constant and neverending pursue of elegance, so will we remain in a neverending search for the definitive meaning of the word itself. We may never find it, or may not even exist.

But that doesn’t mean you can give it a shot.

What does elegance mean to YOU?

Leave a comment with your definition below.


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